Water Quality Monitoring
Water Quality Monitoring Strategy
Just looking at a lake or stream is not enough when trying to measure water
quality. Sampling for specific water quality variables will give you proper
insight into the health of a surface water. In turn, land management practices
evaluated for changes that will positively influence the health
of the water body. If a stream sample has results indicating a high fecal coliform count, practices such as livestock feedlot location, municipal
wastewater treatment and urban runoff should be examined.
What should be sampled for?
Typically, surface water samples are taken for the following
variables: total suspended solids,
fecal coliform bacteria. One variable that is becoming more widely used is
biological indicators. Biological indicators are the animals and plant life that
inhabit a particular surface water. Additional variables may be examined if they
are thought to be present or cause a problem.
What will the results mean?
Once samples are taken and have been analyzed by a laboratory,
the results must be interpreted. Results are compared to the State Water Quality
Standards, and individual stream characteristics are taken into consideration.
Reports generated from sampling results will list suspected causes of and
solutions for excess pollutants that may be found.
How do we proceed from here?
Variables that are shown to be in excess of water quality
standards might be addressed by implementing best management practices (BMPs).
BMPs are simple, low-cost or no-cost methods of reducing pollution that occurs
with runoff. Examples of a BMPs would be contour farming or implementing a used
oil recycling program.
Links to Standard Operating
Procedures in PDF format:
Hand Held Meter
Wadable Wetland - Temp/DO
Lake Water Quality Sample
Wadable Wetland - Water Quality sample
Stream/River Grab Sample
Stream/River Integrated Sample
Fish (Whole) Tissue sampling
Fish Fillet Tissue sampling
Fish plug sampling
Macroinvertebrate (Laboratory Processing)
Animal Feeding Runoff Risk with Index
Reference Site Screening
Lake Water Quality with Six foot Column Sampler